This week the MacEwan Student Centre is alive with the pitter-patter of tiny feet darting from one clubs booth to the next in an effort to receive the most free candy in the least time possible.
But the Students' Union clubs week isn't all about free swag, it's also a time for students, small and large footed alike, to learn about how they can get involved on campus by checking out one of the many University of Calgary student clubs.
This year's fall clubs week runs September 20-24 hosting 180 tables for the more than 220 student organizations on campus. Clubs week allows these groups to connect with U of C students in a direct, visible manner to increase campus community and involvement.
SU vice-president student life Jennifer Abbott said the event saw some new additions this year including a new performance stage next to the cafeteria that highlights clubs in a new way.
Clubs are now the responsibility of the newly created student life executive position along with the recently hired clubs coordinator Chelsea Fletcher.
"There's an hour each day for clubs to go out and perform," said Abbott. "The chess club is bringing out their giant chess board, the video game club is having a DDR competition, so it's just encouraging clubs to be more interactive with students coming to the clubs week."
A scavenger hunt activity has also been created by the SU to connect students with events.
"For the scavenger hunt, there's 10 questions on things like 'go find the names of five presidents. What are three clubs you're interested in joining. What are three clubs that are the opposite of your interests,'"said Abbott. "The prize is two VIP tickets to any concerts in Mac Hall."
The clubs themselves value the opportunity to meet with students as it provides them with membership they might not be able to reach without the exposure.
"I suppose the first impression is everything," said U of C Free Thinkers club member and second-year history student Brett Linderman."First you hook them and then you present an information package of what we stand for. This is my first time at the clubs table. Our signup sheets have been hopeful, it's kinda full so I think we'll have more of a turn out this year."
Japanese Conversation and Culture Club member John Craig said that within the first few days of clubs week, the group already doubled their membership from their inaugural year.
"People will get out of clubs what they put in to it," said Dylan Jones, a fourth-year development studies student and a member of the World University Services Canada club, a group that helps refugee students to come to a Canadian university. "To be able to get this access and for people to be out here and see us we get a lot of people signing up on the mail list and that's the first step."
"Oh, it's essential. It's the only way to recruit people," said Tasha Hansen with the U of C Swing Club.
Students interested in joining or starting a club can visit the Clubs Office in the MacEwan Student Centre or visit online at su.ucalgary.ca/page/quality-student-life/clubs.